Firstly, congrats to you Giants fans. I was not pulling for you, but you earned it (more or less). I’ll be sure to count how many of you fall off the bandwagon when your team downward spirals next year.
Today’s topic is mediocrity. I was sitting on my couch last night, being the typical mediocre person I am. I was calmly flipping through the Economist and enjoying my story when I started mulling. I could be a much more productive and quality human being if I spent that last hour of the day doing something to either improve myself physically (i.e. workout), mentally (i.e. continue my biography obsession on George Washington), or monetarily (i.e. make 30 more phone calls) when really I was just sitting there being the average Joe and failing to improve my life situation in any way.
Hours before last night’s mediocre performance, I was at work joking about mediocrity with N-dizzle. We decided that if we performed at peak performance everyday we would have nothing to strive for. True, but really, it was just a justification for giving our less than best efforts (our lacking efforts if you will).
I started comparing my average, run-of-the-mill behavior to my life heros (fictional and real). I bet Brit Hume does not ever sit on the couch in his sweats watching TiVoed daytime dramas. No, instead he fills the Fox Newsroom with political insight and intelligence. I imagine his “break time” includes reading political manifestos and debating heads of state. Buffy the Vampire Slayer certainly never sat around being mediocre, she was too busy saving the world. She took her job so seriously she killed the love of her life and herself to save the world (and note, these are two separate occasions). For that matter, even the gang of Scoobies didn’t waste time on mediocrity and they didn’t have super powers. I’ll give you Bridget Jones took mediocre and made it a best selling novel and two blockbusters. But let’s face it, she was a shitshow and only excelled at one thing, landing Mark Darcy.
The central question becomes, why don’t I strive for peak performance in all things in life? Is it like anything, perfection is impossible so we don’t even bother to try to achieve it? Or maybe if I did strive for my actual potential and failed I would not have the excuse “Well I didn’t try anyway”. If I’m going to take Ayn Rand’s basic philosophy seriously I must daily strive for individual improvement. Sitting on the couch at the cost of improving myself may be a habit I need to work on breaking. Realistically, we cannot work 24 hours a day at anything. But, I can certainly work on putting in those extra couple hours towards productivity and the hours I already put in I can improve in quality.